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Although July 4th is celebrated as America’s official split from Britain’s rule and the beginning of the American Revolution, the actual series of events show that the process took far longer than a single day. The original resolution was introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia on June 7, 1776, and called for the Continental Congress to declare the United States free from British rule. Three days later a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson was appointed to prepare an appropriate writing for the occasion.
The document that we know as the Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 4th although the resolution that led to the writing of the Declaration was actually approved two days earlier.
Even more interesting is the fact that not a single signature was appended to the Declaration on July 4th. While most of the fifty-six names were in place by early August, one signer, Thomas McKean, did not actually sign the Declaration until 1781.
Nevertheless, July 4th was the day singled out to mark the event of the United States establishing itself as a nation.
(Courtesy of Denver Public Library)